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Mark Ritchie is taking the fight to Mary Kiffmeyer, and scoring major points.  In the past two weeks, he has pointedly exposed Kiffmeyer's failures as our Secretary of State, and forcing her to play defense.

Last week, the issue was fees collected by her office. According to the ECM Capitol Roundup, she has been generating excess revenue for the state's general fund:

Its current budget is about $12 million for the biennium while the office will take in about $25 million, returning about $13 million in revenue to the general fund, according to the Secretary of State’s Office official.

Another instance of how this administration, which is totally beholden to the Tax Payer's League, is raising revenue on the backs of small business and non-profits.  

When Mark publicly called her on it, the fees were eliminated that same day.

Shortly after her DFL opponent called for cutting office fees, Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer announced she is eliminating a $20 business filing fee for fast counter service, saying the extra charge "simply padded the state's general fund."

An announcement on the policy change was put together late Tuesday and faxed to news organizations around 10 p.m., not long after Mark Ritchie, the DFL Party's endorsed candidate for Kiffmeyer's job, called for fee reductions.

Clearly a case of CYA Politics and yet another instance of Republicans taking good ideas from Democrats.

This week, Mark is takinginaccuraciess of information coming from the Secretary of State.  Yesterday he sent this letter to our Madame Secretary.

I’m writing to ask you to urgently address two major problems detailed in this letter.  1. That your office has not taken any action that would allow residents of battered women’s shelters and group homes to use agent delivery for their absentee ballots and Thathat the Postal Verification Postcards mailed to all newly registered voters are missing five pieces of critical information aboitsIDs that first time voters may be required to show.
According to Minnesota Session Laws 2006, Chapter 242, Sections 17 and 18, residents of battered women’s shelters and group homes now have the right to designate an agent to pick up an absentee ballot and deliver it to them.
Nevertheless, your staff have not added any information about this option to your website or office publications, have not done anything to make battered womenÂ’s shelters or group homes aware of this option, and have not created the affidavit used to designate an agent, as required by statute.
According to Minnesota Session Laws 2006, Chapter 242, Section 14, Tribal IDs without an address or with a former address may be used with utility bills for same day registration and as identification for first time voters.
Given all this the use of Tribal IDs with utility bills should have appeared on the Postal Verification Cards in some form since 2004.
In each of these cases the legislature has been clear and it is your obligation as Secretary of State to implement the law as it is written.  Again I call on you to act quickly to rectify this situation so that voters do not go to the polls misinformed or fail to vote altogether because they have not been told that they have the option to do so safely.(Emphasis mine)

Mark's statements were supported by State Senator John Hottinger(DFL SD23) and Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

In each of these instances, the voters affected will more than likely be voting DFL, and yet another example of how Kiffmeyer is using her office to suppress voting to the benefit of her party.

Minnesota needs a Secretary of State that will implement and uphold all of Minnesota's electoral law, and not play partisan games.  Mark Ritchie is the candidate that will bring integretity back to the Office of Secretary of State.

Originally posted to Fantastic on Thu Sep 07, 2006 at 10:13 AM PDT.

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